Adjuster

An adjuster is an employee of an insurance company.  The adjuster is given responsibility for seeing your case through settlement, jury verdict or dismissal. The adjuster determines how much the insurance company will pay in settlement and even if the insurance company will settle.

Attorney

An attorney is an individual that has attended law school and is licensed to practice law.  The attorneys USA Hurt works with are experienced  legal professionals who know how to handle personal injury cases.  They are seasoned in dealing with adjusters and insurance companies, know the nuances of personal injury law and will help you reach a settlement or take your case to trial.  Personal injury attorneys are not paid unless they obtain compensation for their clients.

Attorneys’ Fee

This is the fee an attorney earns for handling your case.  Personal injury attorneys do not collect their fees directly from their clients.  When you retain your attorney, you will enter into an agreement that gives them a percentage of any recover they obtain for you.  If they have to advance any costs, these will also be paid from any settlement or judgment they obtain for you.

Class Actions

When there are a large group of people who suffer a similar injury from the same accident or event, then these individuals will often group together and pursue their claim as a class action meaning all of their claims are done in one lawsuit with many plaintiffs.

Contingent Fee

A contingent fee is the manner in which the fees in almost all personal injury cases are handled.  In other words, the attorney’s right to a fee is contingent upon the attorney collecting compensation for you.   The attorney is not paid unless he collects money for you.  This system allows injured people without the ability to spend money on legal fees to be able to obtain legal representation.

Defendant

The Defendant is the party that caused the injury to the Plaintiff.

Demand Letter

A demand letter is correspondence written by your attorney to an insurance company or defendant seeking to settle your case.  This letter will often start negotiations between your attorney and an insurance company’s adjuster to move your case toward resolution.

Initial Consultation

An initial consultation is your first meeting with your attorney.  You will discuss your case, discuss what happened to you to cause injury, and learn what your legal rights are.  The attorney will discuss your chances of recovery, how he will handle the case and the manner in which they will be paid for handling your case.

Injury

An injury is suffered when you are the victim of another party’s negligence or carelessness.  A personal injury can also give rise to a claim against the party that caused the injury.

Insurance Company

An insurance company, as a result of a contract with an insured, can be responsible for paying a claim made against a policy of their insured when the insured has been involved in an act of negligence or carelessness.

Jury

If your case goes to trial, a jury of 12 of your peers will hear evidence concerning your case and will render a verdict either in the favor of the Plaintiff or Defendant based upon the evidence.

Lawsuit

If your attorney is unable to settle your case directly with the insurance company, then a lawsuit will have to be filed against the Defendant or the party responsible for your injury.  The insurance company will still be involved, but in order to have a trial by jury, a lawsuit must first be filed.

Medical Expenses

Any medical expenses that are spent as a result of your injury.

Out of Pocket Expenses

Sometimes your attorney will have to spend money while working on your case.  If your attorney obtains a settlement or jury verdict for you, any out of pocket expenses spent on your case will be deducted from the settlement pursuant to your agreement with your attorney.

Plaintiff

The injured party in a personal injury case, the party bringing the claim or law suit is referred to as the Plaintiff

Proximate Cause

This is a legal term that refers to the manner in which the actions of a Defendant relate to the injury of a Plaintiff.  If the actions of a Defendant did not contribute to or cause a Plaintiff’s injury, then there is no proximate cause and the Plaintiff will not be able to look to the Defendant for recovery.

Settlement

When a claim is resolved outside of court, even if a lawsuit has been filed, it is called a settlement.

Statute of Limitations

Once a person is injured, they have only a set period of time, generally at least two years, during which time they can bring their claim against the Defendant.  This time period is referred to as the Statute of Limitations.  Once the time has expired, the claim cannot be brought no matter how severe the damages or injury.

Summons and Complaint

Another name for a lawsuit.  A Defendant is summonsed to respond to allegations raised and made in the Complaint.  This is filed with the Court and then served upon the Defendant.

Trial

If a settlement cannot be reached, a trial is held and a jury decides the outcome of the case.